Malzahar General Guide by Arannan
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
- Before you downvote
Please, don't vote (not even up) this guide if you don't even want to understand it. Don't press downvote instantly after seeing The Bloodthirster on Malzahar. Take your time and read me, if you want to. If you don't, feel free to find another guide and it's ok. But don't spam the red arrow if you have no idea of what I'm talking here about. Thanks for your kindness ;).
- Why I play Malzahar this way
Malzahar is an unusual but still quite popular mid caster AP mage. He is one of the first champions I played and I had great times with him at low levels. Now, Malzahar is so easily countered that I can't pick him unless I know who's the enemy mid laner. That's why I eventually decided to build and play Malzahar in a different and revolutionary way, which I eventually called the Overlord. I have NOT invented AD Malzahar, of course, and the name isn't original at all... But I find it suits my build perfectly.
- Why I made this guide
Since I found out the potential of the Overlord, I played a lot of games with him and got nice KDA and Victory/Defeat ratios. However, I could NEVER find another Malzahar building AD in-game. Since I find the Overlord viable and fun, I'd love to see more people playing it and the idea becoming more popular. I'm not looking for personal regarding or credit; I know there's still some people playing AD Malzahar and I was not the first one for sure. My maximum achievement would be inspiring someone to make another AD Malzahar guide, better and more competitive than mine.
lol you shouldn't be reading this you cheater :P
- Viktor, the Machine Herald
- Before you give up
You tried this build in a game and it went bad? Well, this playstyle needs a lot of practice, because you will be controlling one or two incontrollable pets. Don't give up and try harder the next time! The more you play this, the more fun it gets!
News & Updates
- IMPORTANT -
Due to the massive item modification coming in S3, both builds will need an overhaul, or even total rework. Until the huge patch, the guide is perfectly valid, but I have to do a lot of testing work to update the guide to the new item system. Thank you.
The Overlord isn't a regular Malzahar build. I've seen a lot of Malzahars throughout my experience in the League, and all of them focused on a traditional AP Mage build.
However, Malzahar is almost useless in current meta because he has now so many counters, as well as Quicksilver Sash, which every minimum-skilled player will buy if he's laning against a fed Malzahar.
That's why this guide won't talk about the most common Malzahars, but about the true power of his passive, Summon Voidling, which is often even called a handicap. People don't like the Voidlings because they often reveal you, so a Voidling's sighting means you are near.
Nevertheless, Summon Voidling has a hidden AD-scaling on the damage done by your little purple spiders. Though not stated in the in-game skill description nor in the Voidling's stats, an autoattack performed by your pet will deal his own base damage, plus 100% of Malzahar's bonus attack damage. This is what this guide exploits: making your minions attack your enemies! This elegant way to play will make you look somewhat like:
But first of all, we're going MID and we will use the FIRST BUILD. Forget about the second one at the moment.
Pros / Cons
+ Unexpected build, then hard to counter
+ Powerful early and late game
+ Exactly mixed damage - Awesome!
+ Still amazing burst
+ Really fun way to play Malzahar
+ Great farmer and pusher; takes down towers in seconds
+ Can deal damage from a safe distance in team fights
+ He floats around, walking is too mainstream
+ Your Voidlings dance with you
- Glass cannon - very squishy
- Bad at escaping from ganks
- Pushes lane too easily - beware!
- Very situational pick, needs a suiting team
- People will flame at you for troll build
- He needs "Overlord" skin to be played elegantly
The Voidlings - an Overlord needs minions
This is the skill around which this Overlord build is centered. Summon Voidling allows you to spawn a pet every 4th spell casted in a row. This is a really unique passive in this game. This is what an Overlord's Voidling is:
Voidling what you doin? voidling, stahp! hammer time!
A Voidling summoned by Malzahar lasts 21 seconds.
Voidlings have 200 + (50 * level) health and 20 + (5 * level) + (1.0 per bonus AD) attack damage. After 7 seconds, Voidlings will grow gaining 50% bonus armor and base attack damage. At 14 seconds, Voidlings frenzy, increasing their attack speed.
Voidlings' armor: 30 (45 after 7 seconds)
Voidlings' magic resistance: 50
Voidlings' attack speed: 0.831 (1.496 after 14 seconds)
Voidlings' movement speed: 451
This means that, at lvl 1, an already frenzied Voidling (14 seconds from spawn) will have 250 health, 48 AD, 45/50 Armor and Magic Res, 1.496 attacks per second and 451 movement speed.
48 Attack damage, 1.496 AS and 451 Speed are almost UNMATCHED by ANY champion in the game at lvl 1. I dare you to find any champion with higher DPS at level 1 without casting spells, once you add Malzahar's own autoattacks. The only con here is their low health.
At lvl 2, when you can cast Malefic Visions on your enemy, the Voidling will be now 65 AD and 300 HP, and its attacks really tickle.
With the Overlord build, at level 18 your pet Voidling will be 1100 HP, 440 AD and the same numbers in the other stats. THAT'S AN AD CARRY!
Well, in fact it's not. An AD carry will be much more than a simple Voidling, but you already have an ADC in your team and the Voidlings are here to help, not to replace him.
The stacks needed to summon a Voidling have a 1 second cooldown, so wait a gap of time when casting between spell and spell (maybe an autoattack) to make sure you get one stack for each cast. However, if you're unleashing a quick nuke, totally forget about this, as obvious.
Summoner spells like Ignite won't grant you stacks.
Your Voidlings are uncontrollable. What a shame. Well, if you were able to control them the Overlord Malzahar would be Mordekaiser with infinite ultimate. However, you can make your spiders focus determined targets by various methods.
- Voidlings will focus the last enemy you autoattacked.
- Voidlings will focus the most recent enemy affected by Malefic Visions over autoattacked foes.
- Voidlings will focus the enemy affected by Nether Grasp over anyone else.
Your Voidlings can't land a critical hit, so building Crit Chance is useless here. They cannot benefit from Life Steal either. The only use of the late The Bloodthirster's lifesteal will be sustaining you between teamfights killing creeps and jungle monsters (and also farming its stacks at the same time).
The Voidlings' attacks won't apply On-hit Effects, so no Wit's End or Madred's Bloodrazor will help here.
The Overlord's Spells and Sorceries
Apart from his passive Summon Voidling, Malzahar has four other skills like any other champion. These will NOT be your main source of damage, most times they'll be from 35% to 45% of your total damage done.
CALL OF THE VOID
Call of the Void - This spell summons two small spheres which shot two void beams between each other after a short delay, dealing magic damage and silencing the enemies caught by the projectiles.
As it fires 2 beams, you can cast it smartly enough to pop some spell shield (like the ones granted by Banshee's Veil, Sivir's Spell Shield or a (weak enough) Morgana's Black Shield) and still be able to strike one of the projectiles, thus dealing damage and still silencing the enemy. I think it was stated in some patch that this had been fixed and now both projectiles count as one single spell, but I was recently able to perform this trick against some Ryze's Banshee's Veil more than once and in different games.
This spell grants amazing vision where casted, and its cast range is decently large, so it's one of the best scouting tools in the whole game. Start your nuke combo with this; the silence will prevent the enemy from just Flashing away. Due to the decent amount of damage it deals, even with no AP, we'll max this alternating with Malefic Visions to grant an effective long-ranged damage.
unselect this, you're unmasking my fancy guide
Null Zone - Another wonderful spell. It casts a fancy-looking circle on the ground which deals a percentage of the enemies' maximum health as magic damage per second. This is your built-in Madred's Bloodrazor, and this spell is AWESOME late game. Spam it in team fights to unleash chaos and destruction! Nevertheless, it's not so useful in early stages, and grants no vision, unlike Call of the Void.
When you're nuking, cast this spell the third, and be sure your enemy is on the Null Zone before ulting him, which is easier now due to a recent change which removed this spell's cast time (it pops instantly). Because of his combo utility, we'll take a point in it at level 5 and max it the last one, apart from special situations (explained later on).
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Malefic Visions - This is your main spell throughout the game. It inflicts a DoT (damage over time) onto the selected enemy target for 4 seconds, who will be immediately focused by your Voidlings.
If the target dies while infected, the Malefic Visions will spread to another nearby enemy minion or champion and will refund a little amount of mana. It allows you to control your Voidlings effectively, and it's a great harass tool. Be intelligent while casting this spell on creeps, you should ensure you get the maximum possible refunded mana, as it's your main mana-sustain ability and consumes a high amount on cast.
The maximum number of enemies infected is not capped; you can cast the spell again when it ends the cooldown while another enemy has got the Malefic Visions from another foe, but casting the spell onto someone who's already infected won't stack both but refresh the duration. When in a team fight, cast the Malefic Visions onto the enemy carry. Cast this spell second while in your nuke combo. As it's a core spell, we get it just at level 2 and we alternate points when levelling between this and Call of the Void.
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Nether Grasp - Your ultimate spell creates a tether between you and your target champion, suppressing him and dealing heavy damage. This spell has an awesome base damage and amazing AP ratio too. It's a shame we're not really exploiting its potential at all.
While this is one of the highest damage to a single target ultimates in the whole game, it's also easily countered. The time you're suppressing your enemy is channeled time, so if you get stunned, silenced, knocked airborne or any CC which interrupts your channel, you're pretty much screwed. Moreso, if the target has a Quicksilver Sash, your ult will be instantly negated and you'll get the face of an idiot. This also happens if you targeted Gangplank, because he ate some oranges and it was k. I expect you don't need to be warned not to ult Olaf or Alistar either. Any actions like using Flash or moving away will instantly interrupt the channel, look out!
The Overlord doesn't benefit from the potential of this ult, but you'll still be able to deal decent damage, specially while nuking with the full combo. As it's the rooting tool onto Null Zone and the maybe the finisher, cast Nether Grasp last in your nuke combo, ensuring the target is on the Null Zone.
Runes & Masteries
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor Penetration runes are always better than AD runes, and in this build we exploit ArmorPen, so these Marks will have nice synergy with some of our items. AD-scaling marks could be useful to dominate late game, but we may lose our already tangled mid game.
Greater Seal of Replenishment
We need mana. Tons of mana. The Overlord is more efficient when he can spam more spells, and if he runs out of mana after a trade or a small teamfight at early-mid game, he becomes useless until he recalls. This bonus mana regeneration should help staying in lane longer and maybe being able to help kill the Dragon with your jungler after a successful gank bot.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
As we're going to mid lane, the Overlord faces a mage caster most of times. That flat Magic Resist helps enduring your opponent's harass, then avoiding some unconvenient recall.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Some early AD boost to last hit better and to add a little more damage to your autoattacks and Voidlings early on. This way they're more powerful than any AP Malzahar.
23/0/7 as expected for a glass cannon caster carry.
Summoner's Wrath to gain 5 bonus AD and AP when Ignite is on cooldown. As the Overlord benefits from both, the point given there is more useful than other times.
Brute Force to start with a slight advantage on AD. Not very relevant, but a must-take to level further masteries.
Mental Force to have an initial AP boost and the chance of getting the next masteries:
Sorcery because CDR is very important on the Overlord. Combining this with Ionian Boots of Lucidity grants us 19% cooldown reduction, which allows you to manage better your spell casting.
Arcane Knowledge because the Overlord still deals a very significant amount of damage as Magical Damage, and we're not building any more MagicPen through Sorcerer's Shoes nor runes.
WHY NOT Alacrity and Weapon Expertise ?
Because Attack Speed will be fully useless on the Overlord's build and playstyle. Although the Armor Penentration would come in handy, I don't really think it being worth of 5 mastery points, which could be used somewhere else.
Havoc Just 2 out of 3 points here. Why? because I don't really believe Havoc being really good. Imagine a long game in which you dominated and dealt 200.000 Damage. A 0,5% of that total damage would be only 1000 more damage. It's about only 3 autoattacks when at 18! And that's only if you dealt the respectable amount of damage I said. Nah, save the third point of Havoc for something else.
Blast Will still be more significant than Havoc . We already scale well into late game, and this bonus grants the Overlord a bit of extra AP to deal slightly higher damage with spells.
Why not Lethality ? Because we're not going to land a single crit.
Sunder A nice flat ArmorPen boost, which is useful early on.
Executioner To shatter down your weakened enemies.
Summoner's Insight To get that 15 seconds reduction of Flash cooldown. Maybe one of the best invested mastery points!
Expanded Mind A late game mana boost which goes on really well with the Overlord, giving 5 bonus AD and 8 bonus AP at level 18 due to Manamune and Archangel's Staff.
Meditation A bit of mana regeneration to help early on, like a built-in Faerie Charm. Do not rely on this to grant enough mana sustain, anyway.
The Overlord needs stuff to be useful. That's what we should buy:
Start with Sapphire Crystal and 2 Health Potions. The extra mana the crystal gives you will help a lot when using your spells, and the pots will negate some harass. If you are afraid of an early gank, buy a ward instead of the pots, but I don't really recommend this, because you have Flash to escape once, and you need the pots to negate some harass.
The reason why I start with flat mana from Sapphire Crystal instead of mana regen from Meki Pendant is because we don't really need to stay in the lane after getting enough gold for the rushing Tear of the Goddess. Anyway, if you get an early kill (better if it's First Blood), or receive a blue buff from the jungler, you may farm until getting enough to buy both Tear of the Goddess and Boots of Speed.
If you have to go back to base earlier than expected, buy Boots of Speed and some sight ward. You should always take a ward each time you recall. Mind taking a Vision Ward if the enemy jungler can stealth himself and camps mid.
Tear of the Goddess - try to get this item as early as possible. It will allow you to cast some extra spells as well as increasing your max mana, something that will be decisive late on. Once you get the Tear, feel free to use more spells than before, in order to farm its passive, spawn your Voidlings, harass harder and (if it's safe) push the lane to lower the enemy tower. Don't neglect checking your mana points left and avoid running out while bad positioned.
The Manamune - I don't like that mainstream "bread and butter" (yeah, call me a hipster), but this is exactly what the Manamune is to you. It will grant you an awesome Attack Damage, and your mana issues will eventually disappear. Farm its passive casting spells and with autoattacks as often as possible. The negative thing of getting this item is that everyone can see now your AD-centered build (a lot of people will think you're trolling though).
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - Your final boots. You need some Cooldown Reduction in order to spam effectively all your spells, and this build doesn't give it to you. That's why these are the Overlord's choice. Anyway, mind taking Mercury's Treads if you need the magic resist and/or tenacity. All other boots are useless here, in my opinion.
The Last Whisper and The Brutalizer - These two items grant you awesome AD and that Armor Pen we're exploiting with this build. The first one is your priority, but buy The Brutalizer if you have enough money for it but not enough to the Last Whisper. These are core items, specially the Last Whisper due to its %-scaling, suiting better our late game.
The Archangel's Staff - What? an AP item? Yeah! even though we're centering on an AD build, your spells will be more like tickle to your enemies late game. This item, despite being pretty expensive, will give you all the mana you'll ever need, so never look after not running out of mana any more! The AP it gives is high enough to deal significantly more damage than before with your spells, which have a decently high AP ratio to benefit from any AP you have.
>inb4 you nab the passive increasing max mana won't stack with Manamune...
Yes, but the passive giving you AP per maximum mana DOES. This means that, even though getting the Archangel's Staff after all this time, its passive will benefit from an already farmed Tear of the Goddess. And Manamune's is easier to farm because autoattacks count too.
Then, the combination of Manamune + Archangel's Staff grants you awesome mana, a lot of AD and a lot of AP. It's a shame that hybrid champs are alive no more...
The Bloodthirster - The load of AD it gives is unmatched, but the lifesteal will be of little help. I've only taken real advantage of it by slaying the Wraiths or some lane creeps between team fights, at end game, to heal myself while pushing without having to recall and lose the push chance after an ace or a won team fight.
Game still goes on? - If you get here, either you got ultra fed or the game is like 1 hour long. Here you have a few possible choices to optimize your build.
Sell your The Brutalizer and take:
- Rabadon's Deathcap - if you want more AP (not specially recommended)
- Maw of Malmortius - if you need the Magic Resist
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter - if you want some health, some AP and the slows
- Are you still here? Well, buy the red and blue elixirs. I do not advise to get an Oracle's Elixir because a glass cannon is two-shotted down, and having the pinkish eye over your head will encourage the enemies to focus you even harder, and bye bye 400 gold. Better for a tank!
This part is simple. There are very few viable summoner's spells on the Overlord:
- A must take. This spell is probably the best one in the pool, and the most useful, no doubt. As Malzahar has no escape chance, this will be really helpful if you get ganked or chased. It can also be used to pursue an enemy, maybe to cast that decisive Call of the Void or unleashing a finishing Nether Grasp. Remember that it can be used to go through thin walls!
- Awesome spell. It can be "le coup de grace" on a nuked enemy who is still managing to overcome all that void energy. You can cast it while channeling Nether Grasp without interrupting the channel, but ONLY if it's in range. If it isn't, stupid Malzahar will interrupt his ultimate to walk (well, to float) into range and cast it. Derp.
It's also useful against enemies who can heal themselves, like Dr. Mundo or a Lifesteal-heavy AD carry, due to the Grievous Wounds it inflicts, and it's awesome negating Tryndamere's chance to survive after his ultimate.
Consider taking instead of Ignite if you consider it's the right decision. Why should you ever take this? Is it even viable at mid lane?
- You can use it to slow your opponent and expose him to your Voidlings' chase. If you do this, be sure you have 2 Voidlings out to take better advantage of the spell.
- You can use it as an extra escape. Slow your pursuer and float away!
- You can slow your enemy while the friendly jungler is ganking. This can be important if the jungler lacks CC, like Shyvana, because Malzahar has no hard CC apart from the Nether Grasp suppression.
- You can cast it onto the enemy AD carry in a teamfight. Every single team should have a guy with Exhaust, and you can take it if nobody else does.
...So I think Exhaust is viable on the Overlord.
MAYBE VIABLE SPELL
- I don't really recommend taking TP if you're not at top lane. Anyway, it can be used to exceptional backdooring due to the Ovelord's natural pushing ability and how much tower-crushers are your Voidlings. Take it at your own risk.
NOT VIABLE SPELLS
- Useless at mid lane and no sense to heal yourself for a little in a team fight.
- I personally don't like this spell. Its cooldown is too high and won't save you from suppressions like Warwick's Infinite Duress, Skarner's Impale or, hilariously, Malzahar's Nether Grasp.
- This spell can be used to escape, but everyone would agree Flash is better. You're not fast enough to exploit Ghost's buff, and you're still weak to hard CC. You will mostly die when escaping with this spell. Take Flash.
- It's reasonable to think that some spell replenishing your mana will help with our spell-spamming tactic, but I Garen-tee no tiny mana replenishment will win a team fight. Take a more useful spell instead of this.
- Attack Speed is useless on the Overlord, and that insignificant AP boost doesn't deserve a place on your Summoner Spells. Keep on pretending this spell doesn't exist.
- Last time I checked my own guide I couldn't find a section about jungling.
- Error 404 support role not found
- Useless spell, and you're already a great pusher.
- Ideal for trolling. Pick Promote and Revive in AD Malzahar to get 9 reports per game!
General Tactics with Voidlings
If you hate large loads of text, feel free to skip this dull section... But it's the only way I have to explain this important information! This list is open to be extended with new advice, either by myself or via feedback.
- First of all, think of yourself as a purple floating Annie. Try to have always up your Summon Voidling prepared to spawn a pet, at the same way Annie would look after having her stun up.
- Until mid-late game, you'll be often out of mana if you spam your spells too much. If this happens, you should be aware before it's too late. Always warn your mates that you're OOM if a friendly gank or team fight is being prepared. If you're forced to fight though, try to keep up with autoattacks (which should be quite powerful once you get Manamune), and reserve all your mana left for Nether Grasp (if it's up) or Malefic Visions over Call of the Void.
- When at early lane phase, reserve the spell with full stacks to cast Malefic Visions on your enemy. He'll then walk away to avoid further damage, while the spawned Voidling runs after him. The first time you do it, 90% of your enemies will simply ignore your pet, until two or three bites makes them change their mind. Take advantage of the time won to last hit some more.
- Remember that your Voidlings grant gold if your enemies kill them, be careful and don't spawn them only to die!
- You must try to manage the Voidlings' focus in order to maximize their damage output, their utility and generally their havoc potential. This needs some practice and it's hard to master. I still make mistakes sometimes, such as letting them focus a tank in a team fight because he got the Malefic Visions via infection.
- Every single Malzahar in the game tries (or should try) to do a surprise-nuke to an oblivious target out of a bush. The Overlord can do it as well, but you must take into account you have a Voidling with you, or at least having all stacks to immediately spawn one. If you manage to have a frenzied one by your side and spawning another Voidling within the nuke combo, you'll be able to sweep out almost any target. I'm considering making a comparison between this nuke and a regular AP Malzahar's to figure out who has the best DPS during the nuke.
- Remember that a Voidling will push your lane with ease, as it attacks minions. Although it's a great help while farming, you should look out for enemy ganks if you let the lane become excessively pushed.
- Once you're level 6, try to get the kill by sneakily casting Malefic Visions onto the enemy (don't be too obvious or it will fail) while you have an active Voidling. If you succeed and your minion bug starts pursuing the enemy, try to quickly flash into him and casting your full combo. If you do it right, the Voidling should take from 1/4 to 1/2 of the target's full health, depending on the Voidling's state and the opponent's champion stats. If you already got the Manamune, it's a Garen-teed kill. As the Overlord build damage dealt from spells is equal to a regular AP Malzahar in early game, a well-performed nuke combo is uncounterable by any early defense.
- Even though the Voidling' behaviour was buffed and now they hide in brush with you, they can still reveal you when sneaking through the jungle. If some enemy had sight of a Voidling, move off. Good positioning is essential, and Malzahar needs it even more than others.
- Ask for blue buff every time it's up. We'll be spamming our spells, and it's of course a great help. Once you got it, PLAY DEFENSIVE. There are a lot of people who play aggresive with the benefit from the buff, and it often results into its loss at deaths. The Overlord needs blue to farm the Manamune and spawn dreadful Voidling, and the chance of a kill won't compensate the loss of your precious buff.
- When slaying the
, as well as while soloing the
, put your Voidlings on the fight to clear the enemy significantly faster.
- If you're attacking a tower, it's a good idea to spawn an extra Voidling to help, even if you're a bit out of mana and you already have one. The Overlord's minions are great tower-shredders!
- Be aware of turret's aggro. If your Voidling attacks an enemy champion, the tower will focus you if you're in range. If not, your pet will make an awesome harass to tower-huggers!
- If you're doing well enough, you should be able to solo
at minute 25, or about you get the Last Whisper. Go in there with a Voidling and use your spells in order to put another one. Unfortunately, you can't draw the
's aggro to your Voidling, but that would have been ridiculously OP.
- Try to put into a team fight as many Voidlings as you can. As long as you don't run out of mana, you should be able to keep 3 active Voidlings at the same time, implying they aren't slain. Remember the 1 second gap between spells to avoid wasting stack chances by smashing your keyboard! Reserve your Malefic Visions and cast them onto the enemy carry, then use your Nether Grasp on him when your Voidlings are very close, to maximize the damage output.
- In team fights, once the carry is shut down, stay behind and avoid as much damage as possible. Continue spamming spells from the distance and enjoy the slaughter your void army is doing. Notice that your Voidlings will disappear if you die, so exposing yourself to risks can totally shut you down if some smart opponent focus you, as your damage over time is lower than an AP-built Malzahar's. Remember you're a glass cannon.
- As just said, taking risks is not specially recommended. Use your Call of the Void to scout the brush due to the amazing sight it gives. Furthermore, using it often will help farming your Manamune and filling your Summon Voidling stacks.
Situation Analysis - When should I play the Overlord?
As stated before, the Overlord is a situational and unexpected build and has to be played in the right situation to be successful.
I'd say that you ALWAYS need to play a good game with decent score, because you will be flamed by everyone if you don't win your lane. Most people simply can't accept different builds on some champions, and this isn't an exception. If your team loses the game, it's your fault and prepare to get 4 reports. To be honest, some times it WILL be your fault, but usually the worst your team mates play, the harder they will flame on you.
Blame the jungler? Better blame the troll builder!
The question is: When is the Overlord a right pick? It is if you find yourself in some of the following situations:
- The enemy team is rather squishy
The Overlord loves squishies. A fragile champion is easily brought down by any AD carry, and your Voidlings have similar stats. A team with a mid AP carry like Ahri or Karthus, any AD carry except Urgot and maybe Graves or Draven, and a support like Sona or Janna is perfect to play the Overlord and unleash the Army of Chaos from the Void!
- Their mid laner is an easy opponent
Try to counter their mid whenever is possible if you want to win the lane easier. There are a few opponents who fail harder against the Overlord than against a regular AP Malzahar, like Ahri or specially Veigar.
These are OBVIOUSLY only possible in Draft Mode, so I highly recommend not playing Blind Pick to avoid ending in handicap or unluckily countered, as well as getting paired with Darius instalockers who say "me bot".
- Your team is lacking some AD
This usually happens when either the top, the jungle or both are AP or tank-like, like Cho'Gath, Swain or Teemo, while the jungler can be Diana, Skarner or Fiddlesticks (or Cho'Gath too). This way you ensure another Physical Damage dealer while still being strong at Magical Damage. Most of the games I've played with the Overlord end with an awesome balance between Physical and Magic Damage, some times almost exactly 50% each, and I really love that.
- You are a lot of premade friends
Looks like a little joke... But this way you can have fun with the Overlord (which is REALLY fun when you get some experience) being sure you won't be reported if you fail. Furthermore, you can easily ask for a matching team.
Face your Opponents
This section is about specific advice depending on the enemy you're facing at mid lane. As the Overlord is pretty much the same as any other Malzahar in very early game, this section can be also applied if you play AP Malzahar.
As obvious, I have not faced every single champion in this list with Malzahar, so some of these pieces of advice are based only in theoretical predictions and logic. I'll eventually add some extra tips, either found out by myself or recommended via feedback, as well as any other champion I might have missed.
What can they do against the Overlord?
Well, every squishy glass cannon is focused in team fights (or should be), specially if you got some early kills. Your lane opponent and eventually everyone will try to counter you if you're fed. Here we're gonna review what counter-counter tactics we can apply:
- What if they build Magic Resistance?
If you are lucky enough to be paired against enemies who can't press Tab and look at your items (happens so often), they usually simply build Magic Resist against you. If they do, you'll become Legendary with ease and they will surrender at 20, as MR is almost useless against a well-played Overlord. Anyway, if they're bad enough to keep oblivious of your AD build, you would have won with a regular AP Malzahar either way, with Sorcerer's Shoes and Void Staff and other stuff.
- What if they build Armor?
This situation often happens when your lane opponent is good enough to see your Manamune but not as skilled as doing somewhat else than buying some Armor. That's when the Armor Pen you get from The Brutalizer and specially from your Last Whisper will be useful. Same as with MR, if your enemies build armor you will win.
- What if they get a bunch of Health?
Then the situation becomes somewhat bad for you. A Madred's Bloodrazor is an useless item on any Malzahar, but if someone else in your team builds it, thank him. The best you can do against HP tanks is maxing Null Zone above Call of the Void, which will help withering them down, and maybe building your AP late items much earlier if you feel you need it.
- What if they try to kill your Voidlings?
GG EASY. Although the Voidlings are papercraft, each hit or skill used on your pets is a waste. Do you imagine a teamfight in which everybody focuses Tibbers? Or Shaco's obvious clone? Then you know what I'm talking about. I once faced an Ahri who realised how much damage my Voidlings did and shot her orb at them several times to avoid getting hurted. I think I don't have to say how that mid lane ended...
- What if everybody focuses you?
This IS going to happen if you haven't failed hard the lane. If they're stubborn enough to pursue you through your team (because we should standing behind), you will die a lot of times and this is unavoidable. You can build a Hexdrinker and Maw of Malmortius to counter fed mages and/or getting a Zhonya's Hourglass instead of Archangel's Staff, maybe just before The Bloodthirster. If you prefer some Health rather than the situational Armor plus the passive, replace the Zhonya's Hourglass by Rylai's Crystal Scepter, which has a great synergy with Malefic Visions, because its slow will allow the Voidlings chase their preys easier.
- What if they buy a Quicksilver Sash?
Nice. They stepped into the topic's trap: "omg fed malzahar rush QSS". Well, it's useless now. You just have to avoid ulting people with it. The main damage you're dealing has nothing to do with your typical nuke combo. If your lane opponent builds it, don't waste the Nether Grasp on him and focus on farming and harassing. You'll get the kills later.
- What if I get hard counterpicked?
You shouldn't have picked Malzahar, specially if you're going to play as the Overlord, without knowing their mid, but these things happen. You can only apply the general method: farm under the tower, go on playing defensively and ask your jungler to keep an eye at your lane.
- What if I'm getting ganked very often?
Beyond the Horizons
There's even another way to play the Overlord.
You'll be the AD Carry.
The Overlord going to bot lane is an UNIQUE AD Carry. Every other AD Carry relies in autoattacks, AD-scaling skills and/or steroids to deal their massive damage. Not the Overlord. That's why he's called the Overlord. He spawns pets with AD Carry-like stats while he stands out of battle in teamfights. Awesome. Furthermore, harassing with Call of the Void is UNMATCHED by any AD Carry harass apart from lvl 6 Corki.
This is when we use the SECOND BUILD
mini cheat sheet
Greater Mark of Armor Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration
Pros/Cons of AD Carry Overlord
+ No need for a matching team to balance APs and ADs
+ Awesome AoE harass
+ Even more unexpected and harder to counter
+ Outfarms everyone
+ Can burst down any AD carry at half health once reached lvl 6
+ Great performing in friendly ganks
+ Scales better at mid game than Mid Overlord
+ Your opponents will think you're a troll and get overconfident
- You need a perfectly matching support from a small pool
- If you don't win the lane and surpass your enemy AD carry, you'll be useless
- Even more vulnerable to ganks
- Hard countered by Graves and Sivir, as well as by many supports
- Almost every enemy support can interrupt Nether Grasp
- Easier to be blamed for trolling
- Difficult to start a game once you picked Malzahar for AD carry. People leave
The build is slightly different and focuses more and earlier into AD. We get no Archangel's Staff but a Guardian Angel, which works really well with the Overlord, as your Voidlings will remain active when you proc the passive and revive.
Banshee's Veil is also a good choice; it gives you AD via the extra mana, and the spell shield can allow you to channel Nether Grasp without being interrupted! Buy Banshee's Veil or Guardian Angel depending on what you need: Armor or Magic Resistance.
If you feel like you need more damage imput, substitute the not-chosen one by another The Bloodthirster or Maw of Malmortius to forget about magic damage forever.
The runes match better the AD enemy you'll face. The previous flat mana regeneration turns on per level, because we'll have less mana at late game. As summoner spells, Flash is still a need, but I'd sacrifice Ignite to take Heal, which allows you to win trades easier, as well as saving your life or your support's in a dangerous gank.
Which support fits me?
The ideal pairing. You have enough harass and range to forget about a poker support like Gangplank, then a sustaining support is better for you. And Soraka is the queen of sustain. Ask her to level Infuse as well as her Astral Blessing to have a wonderful supply of mana. Having a duo friend with experience is highly recommended.
Truly outrageous. Well, he can heal you whenever you take damage, which is vital due to Malzahar's squishiness, and buff armor to handle better against a well-ranged enemy (like Caitlyn). His stun is really useful to land a nuke combo, or simply to ensure some Voidling hits the enemy two or three times. A good combo between both should be stunning an opponent while casting Malefic Visions onto him, spawning a Voidling.
However, the true power of Taric is his ultimate Radiance, which grants you a nice amount of AD and AP, which are awesomely handy because the Overlord benefits from both!
Be careful if Taric smiles a lot to you, he's definitely keen on cheating on Ezreal with you!
Syndra support? you're asking yourself. Well, she's really able to do it well. She has an AoE stun, though difficult to land, as well as enough poke with Dark Sphere to save you some mana. But the best part about this team is the awesome combo:
- Malzahar has a Voidling ready to spawn
- Malzahar infects a low HP minion with Malefic Visions, spawning the Voidling
- Syndra grabs that minion and quickly tosses it to the enemy AD carry
- Enemy AD carry gets hit by the minion, slowed, and infected with Malefic Visions
- The Voidling chases the slowed enemy
- The enemy AD carry recalls because of having 1/4 HP left
Well, this is mostly for fun. It's very difficult to land, and the mana runs out very quickly, but well executed is really effective. If you have a Syndra support (which is only possible if you're premade), make her start with Mana Manipulator, play very offensive and go for first blood. at minute 4, however, recall for mana and wards and relax the intensity to focus on farm.
As Syndra will be really mana hungry, just like you, she could mind taking Clarity apart from Flash to improve the mana management, but you will lose the Exhaust or Clairvoyance chance. There should always be an Exhaust in every team.
Also known as "pesky ice balls", Nunu is one of my favourite supports. The Ice Blast slow is great to allow the voidlings to chase better your enemies, and he has infinite sustain if well played. Absolute Zero is awesome, and combining both your ultimates will obliterate any enemy in lane phase. A point about Blood Boil: as said, Attack Speed is useless on the Overlord, and Nunu should use it ON THE VOIDLING at the right moment to tear them apart, or on Malzahar to escape. In later team fights, Nunu should smartly use Blood Boil on a champion who benefits greatly from AS, like Shyvana, Irelia or Skarner, as well as top-lane carries like Teemo, Fiora or Tryndamere.
Avoid facing an enemy support Nunu. He'll eat the Voidlings to regain health!
There are a lot of supports left, but I consider these are the better matching ones to the Overlord. This doesn't mean that any other champion would fail. Try to adapt to the playstyle of another support if you get a different one.
Positive and Negative Pairings
Take the Overlord if you have to face:
Don't take the Overlord if you have to face:
Some videos coming soon!
It's the end. I've explained all what I know and have learnt about playing the Overlord, as well as all my tricks and tactics. Considering the boring length of my guide, I thank you very much for reading it on and getting here. he only issue left is encouraging you to play Malzahar that way and asking for the Community's feedback! Feel free to comment, correct and constructively criticize anything! (I said constructively, don't come and say "AD Malzahar is a fail, downvoted" and leave without reading)
I will keep this guide up-to-date, as well as correcting mistakes and maybe improving some parts or presenting alternative ideas out of feedback. Thank you again!
- Summoner drkztan for finally realising the Overlord's viability and encouraging me to play him as AD carry.
- Summoner Halocratos for supporting me the best way.
- Siv HD and the authors of other AD Malzahar guides for showing me that I was not the only insane one playing this way.
- jhoijhoi and her awesome guide to make this dull text fancier.
- Riot Games for finally buffing the voidlings' behaviour.
- All the summoners who didn't dodge the queue when I explained what I was doing.
- All the people who would contribute to make this guide better.
Thanks for all!